Jarret Johnson is calling it a career after 12 seasons. After spending 9 seasons with the Ravens, he spent his final 3 years with the San Diego Chargers. Despite the Ravens having 90 players on the roster, they will be making some room for Johnson to sign a 1-day contract in order to retire as a Raven.
Johnson was joined by head coach John Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Dean Pees and general manager Ozzie Newsome during the official press conference to retire. As something that typically doesnt happen much in the NFL, the rash of retirements for the Ravens with single day contracts to returning players should go to show exactly how cherished the Baltimore Ravens organization to former players.
Some of the more important pieces of the press conference follows:
- Dean Pees talked about "JJ's circle of trust" in the back of the linebacker's room. Coaches and players felt incredibly grateful and happy to be put in there. He also said that JJ wasn't just his player, but a true man in every sense of the word and his friend.
- JJ talks about how the Cowboys called him to let him know that they are going to select him in second round of the draft only to pick Jason Witten instead. After a tough night with JJ and his wife driving around and talking about their future, Ozzie Newsome called to let him know he was going to be a Raven in the fourth round the very next day.
- Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh and Dean Pees mentioned that JJ was the definition of "Play like a Raven" every single day. He was "the poster child of 'playing like a Raven'"
- JJ had to thank all of his coaches. He said that he has not had a bad coach. He got a little emotional when discussing how his wife and mother have supported him throughout his career and life.
- Asked why players often come back to Baltimore after they retire. JJ mentioned that everything with the organization is first class and that everyone is someone that you want to spend your time with.
- JJ mentioned that despite being a household name or a star player, he was proud that everyone in the organization and the fans were appreciative of what he did.
- Without missing a beat after being asked some of the hits that he remembers, he immediately smiled and said "Hines. Yeah. That was a good one"
- Now that he is done with football, he's going to enjoy his time taking care of his 2 girls and fishing along with a little business. But he'd love to have a connection with the Ravens organization and the game.
- JJ was happy for the Ravens that they were able to go to the Super Bowl and didn't realize that he could have been there until his phone was blowing up with people sending him condolences. Even though he wasn't there, he felt like he was a major part of it.